Chapter 1: Building a relationship

Understanding expectations

Understanding what the family expects from their 911 call will help you navigate what care or treatment the family hopes you will provide. Are they expecting you to:

  • Manage symptoms and leave?
  • Manage symptoms and stay until the patient dies?

  • Transport the patient to the emergency department even if the medical situation seems to indicate otherwise? For example, when:
    • Symptoms are manageable.
    • The patient is comfortable.
    • Death is imminent.
For more detailed information about determining goals of care and navigating family conflicts about these, see Module 4, Decision-making. 

For additional information about difficulties that may arise between you and family members or among family members, see Module 5, Challenging situations - Chapter 1, Interpersonal challenges. 

For information about cultural considerations, see Module 6, Supporting the patient and family - Chapter 2 - Respecting and responding to cultural practice and traditions.